Recent blog posts

Laslo Boyd: Politics, Patriotic Symbols, and the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is the quintessential American holiday.  Even as it literally celebrates the completion of the Declaration of Independence, its broader context is the panoply of values that we see as defining the nation.  And while we might not always agree on the meaning of some of those values—equality, liberty, opportunity—we certainly pay homage to the symbols that we have adopted to represent them. A number of forms of celebration have come to characterize the Fourth, including parades, fireworks, picnics, and displays of the flag.  Interestingly, those forms vary from the grandest of scale—from fireworks on the National Mall and in the downtowns of many large cities—to the pageants in communities that are homemade, casual and as local as you imagine. A unifying element, regardless of location and size of the event, is the prominent display of the American flag.  In a country where we often disagree about where... Continue reading
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Center Maryland Exclusive: Nancy Hafford of the Towson Chamber of Commerce

Damian sits down with Nancy Hafford, Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, to discuss upcoming events taking place in Towson. Every year Towson runs over 80 events including farmer's markets, free concerts and parades.   ... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Del. Waldstreicher Won’t Run for Congress

Del. Jeff Waldstreicher (D), a three-term Montgomery County lawmaker, is telling supporters today that he will not run for Congress in 2016. Waldstreicher was one of several legislators who considered seeking the 8th District congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), who is running for Senate. But in an email to supporters being delivered later today, Waldstreicher, a 35-year-old attorney, suggested that he is more enamored with the prospect of trying to solve local problems, rather than some of the more global issues facing Congress. In his missive he talks in personal terms about overcrowded schools and Washington’s broken-down Metrorail system, and concludes, “I have too much work to do locally.” “For me, now is the time to double down on making Montgomery County better: investing in our local schools, fixing our local transportation system, and fighting for an economy that works for local families,” Waldstreicher writes. Had... Continue reading
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Summer of Survival: Frank Kelly, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group Inc | A Center Maryland / Smart CEO Partnership

Frank Kelly, CEO of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group (KAIG), remembers the day when Charles Alden McCullough (C.A.M.) Wagner, vice president of the company and a married father of three young children, was diagnosed with leukemia/lymphoma. It was November 2008, and Wagner, who was 36 years old at the time, had just returned from a sales trip. During a company meeting, he told Kelly he wasn’t feeling well. “He said, ‘I’m just wiped out. I don’t have the energy I used to,’” Kelly says. The next day, Wagner’s doctor told him that something was wrong with his blood count. He had to go to Johns Hopkins Hospital immediately. There, he learned that he had blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm, formerly known as natural killer cell leukemia/lymphoma. He stayed at the hospital for the next 30 days while receiving intense chemotherapy. Read Entire Profile... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Purple Haze and Red Red Whine

Who says elections don’t have consequences? But for inept gubernatorial campaigns run by Democratic lieutenant governors, 12 years apart, riders would probably already be hopping aboard the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and the Red Line in Baltimore would be close to winning its final approvals. Instead, this. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) oh-so-grudgingly consents to let the Purple Line live another day, but with caveats that make the advocates’ celebrations seem premature. And he outright kills the Red Line, another symbolic dagger in the heart of beleaguered Baltimore. The wonder is he kept the Purple Line alive at all. Hogan did say some nice things about its potential as an economic driver, and about D.C.-area residents’ propensity to use mass transit – validating many of the arguments that the project’s biggest supporters had advanced. It’s possible, though, that after all the state’s efforts to attract private sector bidders... Continue reading
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